Drivers & New features in windows, Xp/ vista versions.

 

Drivers

 

A driver is a small piece of software that tells the operating system and other software how to communicate with a piece of hardware.

For example, all printers come accompanied with drivers to install that tell the operating system exactly how to print information on the page. Sound card drivers tell your software exactly how to translate data into audio signals that the card can output to a set of speakers. The same applies to video cards, keyboards, monitors, etc.

The drivers for each piece of hardware in your Windows computer are centrally managed from Device Manager, available in all versions of Microsoft Windows.

 

New features in windows, Xp/ vista versions.

 

The Luna UI—In XP, Microsoft continues its unabashed Macintosh copycatting. The new Luna interface uses a feature called WebViews to display a task-oriented UI. Although the XP UI looks a bit different from Win2K’s UI, the new interface is similar enough so that your retraining costs should be minimal. It you don’t like the Luna UI, you can restore the “classic” Win2K-style interface.

Improved hardware support—As you would expect, XP supports the latest and greatest hardware devices. XP gives you IDE support for ATA-100, CD-RW, DVD-RAM, and multiple IEEE 1394 (FireWire) ports. In addition, Microsoft will offer a 64-bit version of XP.

Application Compatibility mode—To better enable support for older applications, XP’s Application Compatibility mode uses a database of known application settings. In Application Compatibility mode, you can specify which OS version to report to an application, and you can adjust various runtime memory-management settings. You’ll be able to download updates from Microsoft’s Web site.

Windows Image Acquisition—WIA brings to XP some of Windows Me’s management and processing tools for digital imaging acquisition. You can use WIA to select and import images from most digital cameras. In addition, Microsoft Paint can use WIA to import images directly into its graphical editor.

Windows Media Player (WMP) 8.0—The new WMP supports CD-ROM and DVD playback and offers improved audio and visual performance and quality. You can use Group Policies to manage WMP 8.0.

Device Driver Rollback—XP’s ability to roll back device drivers lets you uninstall any new device drivers that cause the system to become unstable. To activate Device Driver Rollback, select Rollback from the Device Manager.

Built-in CD burner—One of XP’s nicest features is its built-in ability to burn CDs. You can simply drag sound files onto your CD-ROM drive’s desktop icon. An added benefit is that XP’s built-in backup utility can now use CD-R and CD-RW media.

Internet Connection Firewall—The new Internet Connection Firewall is a terrific enhancement for small office/home office (SOHO) and Internet-connected home users. To prevent intruders from accessing your XP system, this feature uses packet filtering to block LAN, Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE), VPN, and dial-up network traffic. The Internet Connection Firewall also supports port mapping and can dynamically open and close ports as necessary.

Remote Desktop—An extension of Win2K Server Terminal Services, Remote Desktop lets you control your system from a remote system. Also, XP provides a Re-mote Desktop Web Connection, an ActiveX control that provides remote control capabilities over a Web connection.

Remote Assistance—This feature will be indispensable to corporate Help desks that handle remote troubleshooting. Remote Assistance, which works in conjunction with Remote Desktop, lets a user fill out a Request for Help form and email it to the Help desk. The form prompts the user for an activation period and a password. The email message then enables the support personnel to connect to the user’s PC to diagnose and fix the problem.

 

Vista Features

Family Safety Settings
Nothing is more important to parents than their children’s safety. Windows Vista introduces a rich and powerful set of parental control features to help parents monitor, manage, and administer their children’s computer use—and help keep them safe.

Windows Mail
For many people, sending e-mail is the most important thing they do on a computer. As e-mail’s popularity and importance have grown over the years, some annoyances and risks have also emerged. Windows Mail is designed to help you meet these challenges so your e-mail experience is as productive and fun as possible. Windows Mail includes features that help you reduce the risks, while enjoying the many benefits, of e-mail.

Windows Calendar
Sometimes it doesn’t feel like there are 24 hours in the day. As the pace of life speeds up both at work and at home, many people find it helpful to use a PC-based calendar to manage their time and coordinate schedules with family, friends, and colleagues.

Windows Calendar is a flexible, easy-to-use calendar built directly into the Windows Vista operating system. It lets you plan and manage all of your activities and coordinate your schedule with others. Windows Calendar also lets you create a personal task list and receive automatic notifications and reminders about specific tasks and upcoming appointments.

Windows Calendar has a broad range of features to help you manage your personal schedule.

Windows Photo Gallery
Windows Photo Gallery in Windows Vista gives you the tools you need to easily organize, find, and view your photos and videos. You can edit, print, and share your photos from within Windows Photo Gallery, as well as transfer photos from your camera to your computer with a simple import process.

Windows Media Player
Windows Media Player 11 for Windows Vista gives you an easier way to enjoy and manage your digital music, video, and pictures on your PC. See things the way you want to see them, by CD cover art or in lists—the choice is yours.

Connect to networked media devices around your home or seamlessly sync up with your portable digital media player to enjoy all your entertainment wherever you are. Sporting an improved look and feel, Windows Media Player delivers a high-quality audio and visual experience both on the computer and around your home.

Windows Movie Maker
With the new Windows Vista edition of Windows Movie Maker, you can quickly and easily import, edit, and organize all of your digital home videos. New tools, such as new effects and transitions, and improved graphics performance help you manage and edit your home videos. You can include photos along with video when you create a movie, and even add narration and soundtracks. Once your movies are just the way you want them, you can easily burn them to DVD or share them with others through the Internet.

 

Windows Media Center in Windows Vista
Enjoy all your favorite digital entertainment—including live and recorded TV, movies, music, and pictures—in one place with the easy-to-use Windows Media Center menu system and remote control. Windows Media Center in Windows Vista includes enhancements for expanded support of digital and high-definition cable TV, an improved menu system, and the ability to create a consumer-electronics-quality living-room experience, as well as new options for multi-room access to your entertainment through Media Center Extenders, including Xbox 360.

 

 

 

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